The online world has had a major impact on the retail industry over the past decade. With smart devices making it easier than ever before to purchase items at a moment’s notice, it’s not hard to see how this modern convenience has taken consumers by storm.
Retailers have been in a frenzy over the last few years to find ways to both embrace the eCommerce arena while at the same time attract customers into their brick-and-mortar locations.
To help provide better service for customers, retailers are overwhelmingly looking to new technologies. In Zebra Technologies’ 2017 Retail Vision Study, it was found that 70 percent of retail decision makers are ready to invest in the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
Given this research, the retail industry is at a pivotal moment where its decisions moving forward will really help shape future in-store consumer patterns. Those choosing to not invest in IoT may see a decrease in foot traffic, which would likely lead to more brick-and-mortar location closings. With the significant increase in online shopping, IoT’s capability to collect data on seemingly any scale is crucial to the retailers’ survival.
Through the use of IoT-enabled programs to help streamline logistics management, research shows 57 percent of retailers believe automation will be the main force shaping the industry by 2021. Following implementation of IoT devices, retailers will be able to better track warehouse and in-store inventory, ship orders, and help customers find products.
While over half of retailers are ready to invest in IoT, most are just beginning to take the precursory step of adopting eCommerce and integrating into in-store experiences. With all of the various technologies making their way into the retail industry, we’re likely set to see a huge digital transformation over the next five to 10 years.
Zebra Technologies’ senior VP and CMO, Jeff Schmitz, commented on the ever-changing retail market to Chain Store Age. He said, “Every inch of the retail industry is changing, from the aisles of the warehouse to the shelves of the store, and retailers are driving this change in a race to better serve customers. The 2017 Retail Vision Study demonstrates that retailers are poised to meet and exceed customer expectations with new levels of personalization, speed and convenience.”